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Group Skates Discussions about night skates, organized skate tours, skating party weekends, and similar group social skating events.

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Old October 4th, 2009, 11:19 PM   #41
djstingyneedles
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Tonight's the night and it's free!!
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Old October 5th, 2009, 04:27 AM   #42
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Great session tonight, no problems at all. The place was packed, the floor recently coated in the past 2 weeks . FYI this sunday night session is free all month long.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 05:00 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BretMan View Post
I know CARTchamp was a regular "rink rat" here- back in the days when this rink was called United Skates of America- and I can't help but wonder if some of his comments are colored by nostalgia. You know, everything was better back when we were kids! Yes, this rink is different than it was when you were a kid twenty years ago, but "different" doesn't automatically equate to "worse"- just different.
Nostalgia, no. Residual contempt Yes. With all due respect Bret you where not there in the early 90's when corporate first started talking about WOW and they fired Bob Riley and brought in Kevin and he figuratively and literally said about the regulars (and most of us where employees at the time) that he didn’t want us their because roller skating wasn’t the future of the business. After that is when they changed the schedule and every single session was age restricted to an insane degree and there where nights (including Friday, one of the biggest skating nights at that rink at the time) that had no skating at all, it was dancing only. After that they 86’d half the skate floor in favor of ball pits, laser tag and jungle gyms and a steady decline in business. Funny thing is I remember 3 of us having a conversation with someone from corporate and talking about how wrong we thought what was going on was and how one day they would want us back, she laughed at us.

Oh I can't leave out the best part, as other area rinks suffered through the skating downturn of the 90's and would go out of business, United skates would swoop in and buy up their assets in auction and then feed their floor to a wood chipper to ensure nobody else could use it to open another rink.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 03:25 PM   #44
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Djstingy, thanks for the report. I wondered how the session went and it sounds like it was a success.

CART, thanks for the different perspective. The changes you mentioned all came about a few years after I had quit working at this rink and was out of skating for awhile- except for the old Thursday night adult night skates they used to have that were always a lot of fun.

Sometimes we have such an emotional investment in "our" rinks that we tend to forget they aren't really "our" rinks at all! It's not our capital and investments that build these places and it's not our butts on the line if they lose money. The real owners have a right to run their business as they see fit, whether we like it or not.

This rink has obviously gone through some changes since the early 90's- as do many businesses that want to stay competetive and survive. One thing you can say about this corporation (at one time, they operated as many as 30 different skating rinks throughout the country) is that they have never been content with the "status quo". They have always been willing to try new ideas and concepts to maintain their profitablity.

Heck, they went through some big chances in the 20-plus years they were in existence before the early 90's! It might have been before your time, but they didn't always have a dance floor with seating in the center of the skate floor. When that was added, back in the hey-day of the roller disco craze, the old school hard-core skaters hated it!

For those not familiar with this rink, about 15 years ago they tried to expand their market from being "just a skating rink" to a total family entertainment experience. I can see how many of the "regulars" might have been turned off by the addition of lazer tag, game rooms and climbing walls. The removal of one section of the skate floor always puzzled me (and they chopped off about 15 feet from one end of what was probably one of the biggest floors in the country, not half the skate floor). The chopped off end became part of an expanded concession and birthday party area, which I'm sure in the long run has proven to be a steady source of additional income.

The lazer tag area was a totally new construction added onto the existing building and didn't affect the skate floor at all. The climbing wall and game rooms were installed in existing areas of the building that had no impact on the skate floor.

As much as I would love to have a "pure" skating rink, dedicated soley to the sport of roller skating, I can't fault a business for trying new things just to stay in business. Maybe if they hadn't made some of those changes over the years, they wouldn't still be in business today! When you think of all the rinks that have closed over the years, and this one is still chugging along, you have to think that they must be doing something right.

As a side note, I always wondered what happened to good old Bob Reilly. We worked together several years before I moved on and I lost track of him. Bob and I played on a rink sponsored softball team together and even bowled in a league together for a few years. The "Kevin" that took over for him was probably Kevin Ludwig, a longtime assistant manager at this rink.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 04:21 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BretMan View Post
Djstingy, thanks for the report. I wondered how the session went and it sounds like it was a success.

CART, thanks for the different perspective. The changes you mentioned all came about a few years after I had quit working at this rink and was out of skating for awhile- except for the old Thursday night adult night skates they used to have that were always a lot of fun.

Sometimes we have such an emotional investment in "our" rinks that we tend to forget they aren't really "our" rinks at all! It's not our capital and investments that build these places and it's not our butts on the line if they lose money. The real owners have a right to run their business as they see fit, whether we like it or not.

This rink has obviously gone through some changes since the early 90's- as do many businesses that want to stay competetive and survive. One thing you can say about this corporation (at one time, they operated as many as 30 different skating rinks throughout the country) is that they have never been content with the "status quo". They have always been willing to try new ideas and concepts to maintain their profitablity.

Heck, they went through some big chances in the 20-plus years they were in existence before the early 90's! It might have been before your time, but they didn't always have a dance floor with seating in the center of the skate floor. When that was added, back in the hey-day of the roller disco craze, the old school hard-core skaters hated it!

For those not familiar with this rink, about 15 years ago they tried to expand their market from being "just a skating rink" to a total family entertainment experience. I can see how many of the "regulars" might have been turned off by the addition of lazer tag, game rooms and climbing walls. The removal of one section of the skate floor always puzzled me (and they chopped off about 15 feet from one end of what was probably one of the biggest floors in the country, not half the skate floor). The chopped off end became part of an expanded concession and birthday party area, which I'm sure in the long run has proven to be a steady source of additional income.

The lazer tag area was a totally new construction added onto the existing building and didn't affect the skate floor at all. The climbing wall and game rooms were installed in existing areas of the building that had no impact on the skate floor.

As much as I would love to have a "pure" skating rink, dedicated soley to the sport of roller skating, I can't fault a business for trying new things just to stay in business. Maybe if they hadn't made some of those changes over the years, they wouldn't still be in business today! When you think of all the rinks that have closed over the years, and this one is still chugging along, you have to think that they must be doing something right.

As a side note, I always wondered what happened to good old Bob Reilly. We worked together several years before I moved on and I lost track of him. Bob and I played on a rink sponsored softball team together and even bowled in a league together for a few years. The "Kevin" that took over for him was probably Kevin Ludwig, a longtime assistant manager at this rink.

In a way Bret it is our capitol, were the ones supplying it. Its not that they made changes it was how we, the long time paying customers where treated in the process.

It was a lot more than 15 feet taken off the floor, next time you are there go to the snack bar, about a 10 foot section of the wall is still there and marks where the floor really ends and you can see how much they took away.

The Kevin Im talking about was not Kevin Ludwig; he left about the time all this start was starting to go into motion. Kevin Ludwig was as disgusted with the WOW concept as the rest of us.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 06:05 PM   #46
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Yeah i was amazed when we walked in, this is the first time i've ever skated this floor with roll on. we were the first people in the door so i put on my inlines and went right on the floor and put the power down. The floor is really nice right now, fast and grippy. The Guest dj actuallly was mixing which made the night even better, alot of old school music and alot of really good skaters. can't wait to do it again this coming sunday.
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